Idiots guide to Sarracenia genetics?


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I was wondering something. I've never grown Sarracenia from seed before and am curious. Three fold question:

If I self polinate my S. flava ornata (mirimar beach, Florida) will the resultant seedlings be the same as the parent? Like the same location? Or will they just be another flava ornata?

Also, if I do the same thing to my purpurea purpurea will the seedlings be purp purp?

Is it ok to self polinate a single flower?

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Hi Richard,

when you self-pollinate the same sarracenia's plant you will have the same location but the resulting plants are genetically weaker than the parent, different is if you cross two plants with the same location but they are two distinct clones. It does not change if you pollinate two different flowers or single individual flower.

This applies to any sarracenia plants in general.

Regards

Natale

This applies to any pitcher plant in general.

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I learned that pollinating my 2 Leah Wilkerson plant flowers gets me a whole mess seedlings that will probably not end up looking like Leah Wilkersons....in a few years.

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If you self pollinate the miramar ornata and grow all the seeds,you will find you get a selection of types depending on the ancestry of that plant.

They may well all turn out ornatas,but you may also get rugellii and maximas plus some flava var flava and maybe a red tube or two if your lucky.

Selfing a flower is said to produce weaker offspring,but all it does is concentrates the genes.This magnifies any good points in the plant but has the same affect on the bad points too.This is the reason people say it weakens the offspring.

ada

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Selfing a flower is said to produce weaker offspring,but all it does is concentrates the genes.This magnifies any good points in the plant but has the same affect on the bad points too.This is the reason people say it weakens the offspring.

I would like to second this point.

I have a flava cv. "Maxima" SELFED that is more impressive in my opinion than my standard flava cv. "Maxima".

(Even though the selfed plant was not direct offspring from my cv. "Maxima" (the self came mature from Nigel Hewitt-Cooper a few years back), my cv. "Maxima" shows standard characteristics.)

The selfed "Maxima" has more colour around the top of the pitcher, with a coppery top (like var. cuprea) and slightly wider throat/opening at the top. It's also grown slightly taller than my cv. "Maxima"!

The only negative point with the selfed plant (if it can even be attributed to the fact it is selfed), is that it doesn't seem to be as prolific with flowers, only producing a single bud this year even though it is a substantial plant filling a 5 Litre pot, with approx 8 growing points.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It also seems to me that you get less seeds when your are selfing Sarras than when your are crossing different clones.

I have selfed a S. moorei four years ago. The resulting plants are still small (not very vigorous) and they are quite different from each others. One or two will possibly be worth to keep but it is still too early to decide.

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It also seems to me that you get less seeds when your are selfing Sarras than when your are crossing different clones.

Probably there's a partial self-incompatibility.

"In plants with self-incompatibility when a pollen grain produced in a plant reaches a stigma of the same plant or another plant with a similar genotype, the process of pollen germination, pollen tube growth, ovule fertilization, and embryo development is halted at one of its stages, and consequently no seeds are produced" (cit. Wikipedia).

In case of the genus Sarracenia these mechanisms aren't fully operating, i suppose. :)

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Does anybody know of any evidence that Sarracenia have issues around self incompatibility?

I have been collecting seed data for a few years to see if there is any difference in seed set and seed weight between selfings and cross pollinations, and I am not yet convinced.

I haven't done any statistical analysis (no time, want more data first) but anybody who wants to have a stab is very welcome.

Edited by John Jearrard
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John, I can only speak for certain clones i have selfed and i dont count or weigh the seeds.

Seed grown AF purp venosa selfed, good seed set,loads of seed but looked small and shrivelled, not one germinated

s.flava F6(F90)m,.king code(twice done this) few seeds, plump good looking seeds,all germinated on both occasions

s.flava (Okaloosa red)wild seed grown. Good seed set,loads of good looking plump seeds,only 2 germinated up to today

S.flava "old dock" Good seed set, loads of good looking plump seeds,only 3 germinated up to today.

The last two may well have some more germinate eventually,but all the other seeds i have sown have near 100% germination,these are mainly AF recessive crosses i have done,so there may well be something in it.

It could just be that i tried to self very poor parental plants,even though they look great plants.

We need larger numbers to give more information to say for certain, i for one will take notes on any more selfing i do of sarracenia.

Hope my small imput is of use John.

ada

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Thanks Ada, useful to hear other people's experience. I have had some poor seed set from selfings, but I get the same thing from some of the outcrosses and I think timing and technique in pollination may be playing a part in my case - I am trying to collect enough data to reduce the impact of other factors.

I don't keep records of germination - I want to, but there just isn't time, so thanks for the information. I will have to do some controlled tests I think! (Too late this year thankfully - just cut off the last of the flowers).

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John, I forgot one.

green monster selfed,lots of good plump seeds,very poor germination,less than 10%

just goes to further the idea of some sort of incompatability.

On pollination, i only usually do it once on all five stigma's and get good seed set,although i think in nature the bees would do it more than once.

I have also thought about pollinating each stigma lobe with different pollen,anyone else tried this?

ada

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I have other observations.

Last year I pollinated two flowers of another clone of S. x moorei (a very vigorous clone with huge pitchers). One flower was pollinated by a (nice) gardencenter hybrid: it produced many seeds and most of them germinated (the resulting seedlings are vigorous). The other flower was selfed: it produced very few seeds; one seed gave a (so far) vigorous seedlings; two seeds gave pathetic sickly seedlings and the other seeds did not germinated so far.

I also have a huge tuft of Sarracenia flava 'Slack's maxima', which has (many) flowers earlier in the spring than my other Sarras. I did not pollinate them myself. The seed pods yielded few seeds, but it must be noticed that they should be the result of natural selfing since that plant has flowers before others. I got a good rate of germination with these seeds and the seedlings have so far a normal vigour.

So there are apparently some plants, which self better than others.

Cedric

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